Monday, January 30, 2012

Vegetarian Ideas For A Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday is an international campaign to help people reduce their meat consumption by 15% and to improve personal health along with the health of the planet. It's an easy way to do your part and it makes meal planning for the week easy peasy!

What are some of the benefits of eating less meat?

1) For heart health - vegetarian proteins have less saturated fat than meat and more fibre

2) For preventing cancer - high meat diets have been linked to increased risk of certain types of cancers like colon cancer

3) For the environment - producing meat is expensive and uses up a lot of energy and water. It takes 1,800 - 2,500 gallons of water to make 1 lb of beef

4) For your pocket book - vegetarian alternatives like beans, soy and tofu often cost less than meat 

Going meatless is easy. Here are some ideas to get you going:

•Swap meat burgers for homemade bean burgers 

•Stir fry tofu and veggies and add to brown rice for a quick supper. Tip: Buy extra firm tofu and cook just like you would chicken

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•Enjoy a simple yet satisfying dinner of whole grain crackers & cheese, veggies & hummus and fresh fruit

•Add chopped walnuts, dried cranberries & shredded carrots to cooked quinoa or brown rice

•Try PC’s meatless chicken strips—a sure hit with kids too!

•Ask for a veggies burger when you go out—Harvey’s has a great one

•Add chickpeas and sunflower seeds to your favorite salad. Tip: use canned chickpeas for convenience, just remember to rinse them first

•Have a peanut butter sandwich for lunch—it’s tried and true

•Pick up some vegetarian sushi at your local grocery store

•Make lentil tacos or bean burritos, just substitute the ground meat for your favorite bean and flavor with low sodium taco seasoning

•Have some vegetarian lasagna

•Enjoy some high protein Greek yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereal for breakfast 

•Skip the meat in chili for a filling supper or leftover lunch the next day

•Make vegetarian pizzas with whole pita pitas, tomato sauce, cheese, and any vegetable. Try roasting the veggies first with some garlic to add flavor

•Try a vegetarian Indian curry like channa masala 

How do you go meatless on Mondays?

The GetRealGurls are dietitians backed by science and experience. They share their honest thoughts and opinions about food, diet myths, and all things nutrition on their website:

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